Argument: Mandates include young and healthy, spread risk and costs


Ceci Connolly. “Like Car Insurance, Health Coverage May Be Mandated.” Washington Post. July 22, 2009: “Bringing everyone into the insurance pool — particularly young, healthy customers — spreads the risk and lowers overall costs. ‘That will make it more affordable for everyone,’ Bradley Herring, a health economist at Johns Hopkins University.

[…] Nearly one-third of the uninsured in the United States in 2007 were between the ages of 19 and 29, and 42 percent were between 30 and 54, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. A fair number of young, healthy workers choose not to purchase insurance, believing they do not need it.

Advocates of universal coverage want to lure that group into the insurance pool because they tend to use fewer medical services and help keep premiums down. If only the sick buy coverage, premiums will be high. And visits to emergency rooms by uninsured patients increase premiums for the insured — by $1,000 per person per year, according to some estimates.”

President Barack Obama said in July of 2009: “I was opposed to this idea because my general attitude was, the reason people don’t have health insurance is not because they don’t want it, but because they can’t afford it. And if you make it affordable, then they will come,” he said in a recent interview with CBS. “I’ve been persuaded that there are enough young, uninsured people who are cheap to cover, but are opting out. To make sure that those folks are part of the overall pool is the best way to make sure that all of our premiums go down.”[1]